How Much Power Can I Use In My RV?

This page is part of a sequence of questions on our RV electrical systems section. You can browse the rest of the related questions at the bottom of this page.

The first thing you need to know about your electrical systems is how much power you can use. There is two parts to determining this. First you need to know how much power is available to you, and secondly you need to know how much power your RV is capable of handling.

Knowing this is important because you are likely going to want to run many appliances at once at some point. This is especially true during the summer when you will want to run your air conditioner, or maybe both air conditioners, in addition to your other standard appliances simultaneously.

Unlike in a house, an RV has a much more limited supply of power. The power capabilities being supplied to you also change wherever you go. It is important to understand a few things to keep your appliances safe and everything running smoothly.

Your RV has either 30 amp or 50 amp capabilities. You can easily know which you have by looking at your power cord. A large plug with 3 prongs is most common and is 30 amps. Bigger and newer RVs could have a 50 amp plug which is large and has four prongs. No matter how much power is available this is the maximum your RV will be able to accommodate.

So now you will need to look at the outlet you plan on plugging into. In order to know how much power you can use you need to know how many amps are available to you. Assuming you will be somewhere with electrical hook-ups you would have either 15-20 amp service, 30 amp service, 50 amp service, or any combination of the three available to you.

It is easy to identify the power available to you by looking at the outlets. A standard household outlet--small and with three prongs--is 15-20 amp service. A larger outlet with three prongs is 30 amp service. The largest outlet and the only one with four prongs is 50 amp service.

So what does this mean for you? What if you have a 30 or 50 amp RV and you want to use your household outlet? What if you have a 30 amp RV and you want to plug into a 50 amp outlet to get more power, is this possible? You can browse the answers to these common questions and more by following the sequence of questions using the links below.

Continue Following The Electrical Systems Question Series

How much power can I use in my RV? (Here now)

How many appliances can I run at once?

Which appliances use the most power?

How to protect your appliances with an RV voltmeter.

What adapters do I need for my RV?


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